I can’t believe it’s 2014. Hapy New Year!

It’s been a real busy and blessed holiday season. Jen and I got to spend lots of time with our kids, and even though we’re sad they’re back at school, we’re encouraged about the year ahead. We’ve rededicated ourselves to God, our family and our work and we’re anxious to see where this new year will lead us. We’ve both agreed to be more open minded, and to get out of the ruts that seem to pull us in. We want to be better servants here in Uganda and even throughout the world.

Today was a good day, with a lot accomplished, even though I had a terrible night’s sleep. Some kind of stomach thing grabbed me all night and I slept in a bit to try to sleep it off. I met Jen at the Keep, and the day was off to a good start when I met Travis Yates and his family having breakfast at one of our outside seating groups. They were here running a VBS for AIM over the holidays and I felt really blessed to get to know them and hear some of their amazing stories. Travis is an Air Force guy, and given my background, we had a lot to talk about. The Yates family was an unexpected blessing for Jen and I and a great encouragement.

Then I had a meeting with Anthony, who’s working on a web development course. Well, it’s more than a web development course.. and it’s a rather long story. But Anthony’s story is a bit of a miracle. Born in Jamaica and raised in Philly, Anthony is a Christian, is passionate about technology and through a miraculous series of events defied his very difficult circumstances to become an accomplished web developer. Then he felt called to Uganda and he left everything, and penniless, headed here to follow the call. I could relate to that. Anthony’s call wasn’t specific, except he knew he was supposed to be in Uganda teaching a web development course. He had the curriculum in his head and it was aggressive, including basic IT, design, Photoshop, Illustrator and a whole heap of web technologies. But he didn’t have a place to teach, he had no computers, and as I already mentioned he was penniless. 

In Uganda, he met my friend Daniel Stern. He told Daniel about the course he wanted to teach and Daniel told him to get to Jinja and see me. I knew immediately that we could help him. When I told him we could offer the training center, and all the resources we had to make his vision a reality he literally broke down. He’s a good guy, and I know we’re going to do a lot together. 

In todays’ meeting we locked down our start date (Feb 24), course duration (7+ months), hours (Mon-Wed 8-10) and lots of other details. I also started working on refurbishing one of my old mac laptops since Anthony was using a borrowed PC and preferred to do the course development on a mac. 

Later, I had to drop my failing bike off at the mechanic then headed home to work on Anthony’s laptop. I also started building out about a dozen Loaded chromebooks for a local school. Each machine needed an update and SD cards imaged. Each card takes about an hour to burn and the updates are dog slow with out poor internet. 

Lastly, I had to figure out a solution for tomorrow morning’s BCS chamionship game. So many visitors and residents wanted to come and see it that we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to serve them. This meant opening up at 4:00am, coordinating staff and a bunch of other logistics, but the real challenge was figuring out how exactly to show the game since our satellite service wasn’t carrying it. The only solution was Internet streaming. So I had to load up an MTN stick (which is faster, but capped and expensive) and get the drivers working with Mountain Lion. All things said, it was a 12-hour day, and I’m pretty tired. I have to take a break, play with Declan for a bit and get to bed before my fast-approaching 4:00am wake-up.